U.S. District Judge Staci Yandle spoke Thursday about the substantive effects of having diversity on the bench, saying diverse judges should voice their unique perspectives in their work while highlighting a recent opinion from Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“It’s not just about presence. We naturally have a voice and a big voice. And so it’s important that we recognize that and we are willing to use it,” said Yandle, who has sat in the Southern District of Illinois since 2014. “That’s one of the main important things about diversity on the bench is we’re not just a pretty face. They can’t put us there and shut us down in terms of our voice. We got the same pen, we got the same voice.”

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